Essential Vitamins for a Healthy Digestive System
- Posted on: Sep 18 2015
Did you ever have someone tell you as a child to “always remember to take your vitamins”? You might have hated taking them as a child, but vitamins play an essential role in the functioning of various processes within the human body. It is through the digestive system that your body is able to break down food in order to feed and nourish the body, so being conscious about consuming the proper amounts of nutrients needed is a good start towards having a healthy digestive system that runs like a well-oiled machine.
All in all, you need vitamins for a healthy digestive system. We do call them “essential” vitamins for a reason, since they are required in order for your body, as well as your digestive system, to function properly. If you aren’t familiar with which nutrients are vital to your digestive system, read on to learn which vitamins you should be incorporating into your diet daily in order to maintain good digestive health:
Also known as retinoic acid, retionol, and retinaldehyde, vitamin A ensures that the digestive tract functions properly by nourishing the mucosal tissue. Even though vitamin A is not directly involved with digestion, researchers have discovered that a deficiency of vitamin A can worsen the imbalance between the formation and destruction of free radicals within the mucus lining of the digestive tract. Foods that contain a rich source of vitamin A include kale, sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin, and spinach.
Found in foods such as meat, fish, leafy greens, beans, and dairy products, B vitamins are water-soluble.This means you can not store them in fat cells or in tissue, so it is imperative that they become a regular part of your diet. Some of the essential B vitamins include:
- B1, also known as thiamin, assists your body in converting carbohydrates into energy for your body. B1 also fuels your cellular metabolism, as well as helps regulate appetite.
- Riboflavin, or B2, helps break down the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in food. In addition, it also helps keep your mucosal lining of your digestive tract in tip-top shape.
- B3, also known as Niacin, assists in the breakdown of carbohydrates, alcohol, as well as fats in the digestive tract.
- Pyridoxine, or B6, helps your digestive system break down and process the protein in the foods that you eat. It is also essential for the absorption of vitamin B12.
- B7, or biotin, helps produce healthy cholesterol and may play a role in regulating blood sugar levels. Biotin also assists in the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and helps the body get rid of waste.
- B9, also known as folate or folic acid, plays a vital role in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, as well as proteins.
- Cobalamin, or B12, plays a huge role in the nervous system, as well as in the production of blood cells. It also adds in the elimination of waste that is produced when your body breaks down protein.
Vitamin C isn’t just essential for the prevention and treatment of the cold and flu, it also aids in digestion by helping the body absorb iron, as well as by supporting healthy teeth and gums. In addition, vitamin C aids your body in the production of collagen in order to help heal tissue damage, as well as to help maintain the tissues of the digestive tract. Overall, vitamin C is vital in order to maintain good digestive health, and can be found in foods such as tomatoes, peppers, pineapple, citrus fruits, berries, and broccoli.
Also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, when exposed to enough sunlight the body will extract this vitamin from cholesterol. Vitamin D plays an important role in the absorption of calcium and aids in the maintenance of a healthy digestive tract. In your digestive tract lies a large network of nerves that help regulate your digestion, and these nerves rely on calcium in order to transmit signals properly. Besides sunlight, vitamin D can be found in fortified cereals, salmon, eggs, mushrooms, liver, as well as dairy products.
Remember, even though vitamin supplements can be useful in defending against nutritional deficiencies, always consult your doctor before starting a new regime.
Posted in: Uncategorized